An allergic reaction to henna left this woman’s face distorted

An allergic reaction to henna left this woman’s face distorted

Because henna has to sit in your hair for two to four hours, the salon sent Chemese home to wash her hair there. Shortly after leaving, however, her scalp began to burn

In an effort to reduce the amount of chemicals that goes into the body and lead a healthier lifestyle, many people have chosen many natural alternatives to products used in everyday life.

From medicines to cleaning products, there is a cornucopia of alternatives you could use. For Chemese Armstrong of Austin Texas, using natural products for her hair is a given in her life.

She is allergic to Paraphenylenediamine or PPD—a dark dye used in countless hair dye-related products. As an alternative to boxed dyes, her dermatologist suggested that she used henna instead.

So she got in touch with a local salon, Jamila Salon Suits, and asked about the process of henna dyeing and told her about the allergy. Before they started, they did a strand test.

READ: 8 of the most bizarre allergies

When nothing happened they went ahead with the procedure.

Because henna has to sit in your hair for two to four hours, the salon sent Chemese home to wash her hair there.

Shortly after leaving, however, her scalp began to burn. Her face swelled to the point that she could no longer open her eyes.

If you been following me for a while you know that I tried to be as transparent as possible. You will also know that my 100 days of just juice and smoothies has been very important to me. Today is day 100!!! The past couple of days has been extremely rough. I mention before that I die my hair with Henna because of my research and what I was told that it was supposed to be completely natural and chemical free but it wasn't and I had a severe allergic reaction as you can see from the pictures. I'm not posting this for any advice or any negative comments. I'm fully aware of what these pictures look like. I had to endure this nightmare. If you do not have anything nice to say please keep strolling. I want to let everyone that pray for me or send me well-wishes know what was going on. I was in severe pain from my scalp burning and itching with my face completely's swollen to the point I was unrecognisable. The most scary part about this whole thing is that my eyes was completely swollen shut where I couldn't see for 2 days. My doctor was afraid that it was going to start affecting my breathing which that didn't happen and as of today my eyes are open and I can see again but my face is still very swollen (I don't look like myself). I'm not in any more pain and I feel things are heading in the right direction. I hate that this had to happen but now I'm even more focus on making sure that my health is number one priority. Once I get back to looking like myself again I will make a more detailed video on my YouTube channel. Thanks again for all the love, support, and well wishes.

A photo posted by Chemese (@chemese) on

Despite washing her face a couple of times her condition worsened. Eventually she was rushed to the emergency room where the staff helped stop the swelling.

“I’m still not one hundred percent yet,” Chemese told Yahoo! Beauty. “I’m weak and very tired but I’m taking it one day at a time,” Armstrong told Yahoo! Beauty. “I don’t know the brand of the henna because it was done at a salon. The salon owner has yet to get in contact with me. My focus right now is my health.”

In a correspondence with Yahoo! Beauty, Jamila Salon Suites said that “sometimes we get the henna from Whole Foods, sometimes from India, so we don’t really know.”

READ: This 11-year-old girl is allergic to the sun

Then in a follow up e-mail, she added: “The henna I use comes from India, where most of henna is grown and processed. There have been no allergic reactions to this henna product. No PPD is indicated by the manufacturer.”

An allergic reaction to henna is rare, but it does happen for some.

“The reaction to pure henna is a Type I allergic reaction, entirely different from and unrelated to the frequent Type IV sensitization to PPD in synthetic hair dyes,” said Henna For Hair. “It is very unusual for a person who is allergic to PPD in synthetic hair dyes to also be allergic to henna.”

Chemese has no interest in suing the company. Instead she thinks of her ordeal as an important life lesson:

“This just made me realize that I need to pay more attention to what I put in my body and what I put on my body,” she said. “I like to think of myself of a naturalist and I just want to be more mindful about [that].”

Treating allergic reactions

According to Health Line, minor allergic reactions can be safely treated at home with over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants.

“These medications are generally available as tablets, eye drops, and nasal sprays. Swelling, redness, and itching may be reduced with the use of ice and topical creams that contain corticosteroids.”

However, if you find your symptoms not improving or worsening, it’s a sign that’s you should head to the doctor.

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